83 terms

Texas Government 2306 Exam 3


Terms in this set (...)

Describe the council/manager form of government.
City council may select a mayor, or mayor elected.

Council hires a city manager to run the city (Cheryl S)

Manager does not campaign or run for office
Why are Texas counties important?
They provide the main form of government in rural areas.
What style of city government does San Antonio use?
Major-council form
Describe the mayor-council form of government and where is it commonly used?
City has a major and city council

Mayor is elected from a city at-large

Council either at-large or single-member districts

Council acts as city legislature
What does a non-school special district include?
municipal utility districts (MUDs) and hospital districts.
What powers does a school board have?
Adopt a budget and sets the tax rate

Hire superintendent (most districts, superintendent hires district personnel)

Select textbooks

Sets school calendar (2 years in advance)
List the functions of county governments.
Maintaining roads, bridges and county jails
Cover some health care costs for indigent
Large counties maintain public facilities (AT&T center, libraries, parks, public hospitals etc.)
Assist with natural disaster logistics and costs
Administrator all elections in the county

1.Road and bridge construction and maintenance

2.Law enforcement

3.Dispute resolution

4.Record keeping (birth, death, marriage, property deeds, etc.)

5.Social services
Why is flood control managed by special districts?
because it is not a school.
How are special districts in Texas administered?
They are governed by boards elected by the people.
What is the function of the 24 councils of government in Texas?
Planning for the economic development of an area, helping local governments carry out regional projects, contracting with local governments to provide certain services and reviewing applications for state and federal financial assistance.
Who collects the taxes owed to the county?
county-tax assessor/collector
What is the most important expenditure of most county commissioners' courts?
roads and bridges.
Who is the chief law-enforcement officer in county governments?
the sheriff
Texas has a reputation of being a "low service, high tax" state. True or False?
False, low-service, low tax
What is the sales tax in Texas?
What is the most important single tax financing Texas government?
sales tax
In Texas, what is the name of the officer who presides over the county commissioners' court?
The county judge
Prior to 2003, who set tuition rates for public colleges and universities in Texas?
The State Legislature
What are regressive taxes?
type of tax where tax burden falls more heavily on lower-income individuals.

the lottery, tobacco tax,
What else is the Economic Stabilization Fund known as?
The rainy day fund
The State Highway Fund comes from what source(s)?
registration fees, sales taxes, and regressive tax.
Who are the primary player(s) in the budget?
Comptroller, legislature, and the Legislative Budget Board (LBB).
What is the purpose of the Biennial Revenue Estimate?
a detailed forecast of the total revenue that the state is expected to take in over the next biennium.
Why must the Texas legislature maintain a balanced budget?
It is required through the Texas Constitution.
What are the challenges facing education policy in Texas?
Low public expenditure per enrolled student.

The increasingly minority and disadvantaged student body.

The increasingly economically disadvantaged and at-risk student body.

The high dropout rates.
What was the purpose of the Gilmer-Aikin Laws?
What was the outcome of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case?
What was the outcome of the San Antonio v. Rodriguez Supreme Court case?
On December 23, 1971, it ruled that the Texas school finance system was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
What was the key constitutional issue in Edgewood ISD v. Kirby?
The texas supreme court ruled in the case that the states system of financing public education violated the texas constitution
In addition to federal monies, which two other sources in recent years have had a major impact on monies flowing into the state budget?
The Permanent School Fund distributes money to school districts across the state based on what two factors?
Attendance and bonds.
The National Research University Fund was established through a constitutional amendment to provide a source of funding for these entities.
operate in order to encourage universities to behave in certain ways and to achieve a specific set of legislative objectives.
Which factor(s) related to public finance will work against a return to highly regulated tuition and fees?
What is one significant component of the budget process that is relatively unique to Texas?
What are the three main issues that have shaped education policy in Texas over the last 50 years?
Funding, desegregation, and educational excellence.
Congress created Medicare for this purpose.
To provide health insurance for the elderly.
Water rights are a complicated matter, balancing private property considerations and the public good. True or False?
What is the law of capture regarding water rights in Texas?
What is a felony.
a serious criminal offense, punishable by a prison sentence or fine.

fines up to $10,000

Prison punishment ranges from 6mo. to life.

(Voting rights for felons are restored after fines and other terms of punishment have been served).
Jurors determine a guilty verdict in criminal cases on a 5-4 vote. True or False?
False, they must all agree on the verdict.
In the state of Texas, what is the policy for felons' right to vote?
Texas voting rights are restored after the sentence has been fully discharged
calls for wealthy districts to transfer funds to poorer districts in order to equalize funds available to all public schools across the state?
In 2016, the Texas Supreme Court held that the existing system for funding public schools met the minimum constitutional provisions for fairness. True or False?
Which program provides coverage for children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid?
The Children's Health Insurance Program
What were the controversies arising out of the Medicaid Women's Health Program in Texas?
The funding of abortions in state clinics paid for by Texas taxpayers who were opposed to the procedure
What are two of the strategies that have been developed by the Texas Water Development Board to meet the long-term needs of Texas?
the focus on conservation and expanding and developing available surface water.
What did farmers argue in the case of Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel (2012)?
argued that they had the rights to the water based upon their ownership of the land above it
Regarding the rules of community supervision (probation) requirements, what are the results of compliance versus violation?
A criminal in compliance will likely receive an early release of up to one-third the term, while a criminal in violation may be sent to jail for the remainder of his or her sentence.
A person convicted of a third felony can be sentenced to life imprisonment based on this Texas law.
the "three strikes" provision.
In Texas, the legal standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" is used in which type(s) of cases?
What was the outcome of Gideon v. Wainwright?
persons too poor to hire a lawyer have had a constitutional right to have an attorney appointed to represent them in serious cases.
What is one of the biggest issues in regard to perpetuating criminal activities in Texas?
complying with the rules of the process can be difficult and even financially impossible
What was the outcome of Estelle v. Ruiz?
Federal court ruled Texas prison conditions violated U.S. constitution (cruel and unusual punishment).

prisons limited to 95 percent capacity.

Violent prisoners separated from other violators.
For which type of offense are Texas prison inmates least likely to be imprisoned?
Texas executes more individuals than any other state and has a statistically low rate of successfully appealed capital cases. True or False?
List reasons why the death penalty is controversial in Texas.
We elect judges who support greatly death penalty
List reasons why a person may receive the death penalty.
•Murder of public safety officer, fireman, or correctional employee

•Murder during commission of a kidnapping •Burglary •Robbery •Aggravated rape or arson

•Murder for hire
•Multiple murders
•Murder during a prison escape
•Murder by a prison inmate serving a life sentence
•Murder of a child under 6
What are misdemeanors?
less serious crimes.

fines up to $4k

jail sentences up to 1 year served in a county jail, not a prison.

Include: petty theft, disturbing the peace, simple assault and battery, drunk driving without injury to others, drunkenness in public, various traffic violations, public nuisances.
What are the requirements people need to meet when they are given probation?
remains in community, must follow set rules and under probation officer supervision.
What is a grand jury?
determines whether evidence is sufficient to proceed with a trial. Does not determine guilt.
Wrongfully convicted individuals in the state of Texas can receive a lump sum of ________ for each year they wrongfully served prison time, plus some additional yearly payments of up to ________ per year.
$80,000; $80,000
The Michael Meyer's Act established a uniform policy for district attorneys to make material that can help defendants' cases available to defense attorneys. True or False?
The governor of Texas is able to grant clemency to death-row inmates without the recommendation of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. True or False?
Grand juries rule on the guilt or innocence of the accused. True or False?
false, decide if the government has enough evidence to try an accused person on formal charges
When are judges more likely to grant someone probation?
What are the requirements for one to be a judge?
35 years of age, US Citizen, resident of Texas, practicing attorney or judge for at least 10 years in order to be elected in office.
What kind of authority does the Texas Supreme Court and the court of criminal appeals have?
Supreme court- hears civil cases, contractual disputes

Criminal Appeal court- Dealing with crimes, ethical, not tainted, evidence obtained legally, juror wasn't bribed.
Which court does not require its judges to be lawyers?
Justice of the Peace
What do municipal courts have jurisdiction over?
Violations dealing with city ordinances (driving hands free, using a cell phone while driving, noise ordinance etc.), disputes
Commissioners' courts are part of the Texas judicial system. True or False?
False, a part of the legislative.
Justice of the peace courts handle which kind of disputes?
Traffic misdemeanors/traffic violations (speeding, running red lights, weddings etc...)
What are statutory probate courts?
They look at: wills, property (specifically if someone is deceased, how will they split the land?), adoption
What type of cases does a justice of the peace hear? What are the majority of cases they hear?
Smal claims, misdemeanors.
What is a plaintiff?
The person or party who has filed a lawsuit. The government will always be the plaintiff.
What is the most important role the Texas governor plays in the judicial process?
Appointing judges in a vacancy spot
What do people use as information when voting for a judicial candidate?
Why is it difficult for voters to learn about judicial candidates in Texas?
We have too many races to learn about candidates.
What is the Texas Judicial Campaign Fairness Act?
Texas law that limits the amount of campaign donations to judicial candidates
What is the most important type of case that the Texas Supreme Court handles?
Tort Law cases (cases brought on business for malpractice etc.)
The Texas Supreme Court has taken an anti-business direction since the 1980s. True or False?
False-They are pro-business.
Names to know
Governor- Greg Abbott

Secretary of State- Rolando B. Pablos

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

Attorney General - Ken Paxton

Texas General Land Office- George P. Bush

Department of Agriculture- Sid Miller

Comptroller/Comptroller of Public Accounts- Glenn Hegar

County Judge- Nelson W. Wolff

Mayor of San Antonio- Ron Nirenburg

County Commissioner- Chico Rodriguez

City Manger- Cheryl scully
Plea bargains
usually take place during this phase-a common method prosecutors use to maintain high conviction rates.
In Texas, the legal standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is used in both felony and misdemeanor cases.